11/27/2012 12:23 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2013

A Surprising Solution to Our Debt Woes

Debt comes in many forms. There is the kind that Lady Gaga owes Madonna, and then there is the debt that we owe the student loan people. But only one of those IOUs can translate into harassment from debt collectors, garnished wages, and poor credit scores.

Strike Debt, with origins in a loose coalition of Occupy Wall Street members, is looking to change that. Their non-profit initiative Rolling Jubilee buys bundled consumer debt for pennies on the dollar -- rather than pursue those debts through means both legal and otherwise, Rolling Jubilee simply cancels them.

Launched a little over two weeks ago, the initiative has managed to raise over $425k without any traditional organization or infrastructure. That money alone will allow Rolling Jubilee to buy, and erase, over $8.6 million in debt.

"We realized that OWS has a global network of occupations and organizations in solidarity with us," Aaron Smith, a member of the group's social media team, explained. "We built up an email list of about 10k and spent a few weeks prior to our launch telling them about the project... We blew through our original goal of $50k only 36 hours after we launched."

The Rolling Jubilee is Smith's first social media campaign -- although he tweets for several OWS initiatives, he doesn't yet have a Facebook profile.

On Saturday December 1st, Strike Debt will be holding an open house at Judson Memorial Church at six pm. All are welcome. To learn more about how Rolling Jubilee works or donate to the cause, check our their website here.

Now go forth (and settle up).

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